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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Law School Applications / Re: Biology Major Law Student
« on: October 31, 2013, 02:57:11 AM »
I really enjoy Biology and I would like to continue pursuing a degree in it, but will this hinder me for law school acceptance?

No, a degree in biology will not hurt in you when it comes to law school acceptance. If anything, it may help you stand out from the sea of English/Poly Sci/Business majors. Law schools don't seem to care much about your undergrad major. I suppose a degree like Dance or Landscape Architecture might not be considered especially good preparation, because there is very little reading, writing, and logical argumentation involved. Even then it might not matter much.   

Should I switch majors to get a higher GPA? Any help would be appreciated!

This is a somewhat different question, because law schools do care about your GPA. I can't tell you what you should major in, but whatever you decide you've got to get high grades. Your GPA and LSAT will almost entirely determine your law school options. It is very much a numbers game, and they care more about the actual numbers than they do about specific majors, grade trends, major vs. overall GPA, etc. People worry about these things, but in most cases they make very little difference.

Personally, I wouldn't drop something I loved just to boost my GPA. It's difficult to divine the future, and you may end up doing worse than you think. The upper division humanities seminars you'll take in your junior and senior year are considerable more demanding than the intro lecture courses. I think most people do better when they study something they like. Just my two cents.   

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:41:35 AM »
The best post I've read all year, Amen.

If the people who whine about not being able to find a job would spend half as much energy on developing marketable skills, they'd be employed. I meet lawyers every single day who graduated from lower tier ABA and Calbar schools and who have thriving solo and small firm practices, are prosecutors and public defenders, even judges. The one thing that these people have in common is that they are assertive go-getters who bust ass every day.

I know a girl who worked at a family law firm during the day and went to law school at night. She gained enough experience over four years to feel competent opening her own office after graduation. She now has a couple of lawyers working for her, makes a couple hundred grand a year, and has only been an attorney for a few years.

Two things that hold back many new law grads are immaturity and unrealistic expectations.

Many law students go straight from high school to college, college to law school, then hit the job market for the first time at age 25. They've been financially and emotionally supported by someone else their entire life, and have been told that they're a precious snowflake. They feel that they are entitled to a job, and expect their law school or the legal profession to supply them with one. Or, perhaps they expect the government or ABA to save them from even going to law school by shutting down schools which won't supply them with the jobs they think they deserve.

It's a classic Freudian transference of parental reliance, and smacks of the nursery.

Unless you make a concerted effort to develop practical, marketable skills during law school, you really don't have much to offer when you graduate. The fact that you got an "A" in civpro is nice, but it doesn't bring in clients. Especially in this economy, firms and government offices don't have the resources to train a smart but clueless new lawyer. People that need lots of supervision are out.

Thus, most people (and especially the ones who are graduating from non-elite schools) need to be very realistic about their options. At least for the first couple of years, your choices are likely to be low pay/long hours vs. unemployment. It sucks, but it's the way it is. I've met people who literally refuse to work because they think the legal jobs they've been offered are beneath them.

Conversely, a buddy of mine from law school has an entirely successful criminal defense solo practice and is only two years out of school. It may not always be the most glamorous work, but he's doing better than the people who are unemployed and holding out for a better offer.

Bottom line: take some responsibility for your own life.   

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 22, 2013, 06:30:45 PM »
If there is a long term problem, then the market will correct it anyway. People will compare the high cost of attendance to the low employment rates, and schools like GGU may go out of business anyway. You already see some correction in the market based on the lower number of law school applicants this year.

I just don't like the idea of a nanny state which seeks to protect me from making my own decisions. Investing in law school is like investing in a business or a piece of real estate. Most people will be successful, but some will not. But for lots of other people schools like GGU offer an opportunity to become a lawyer that would not otherwise exist, and they go on to have successful legal careers.

I graduated from law school recently, so I'm aware of the cost. I chose to attend law school on a scholarship for that very reason. Without a scholarship, I probably wouldn't have gone. 

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 22, 2013, 02:51:53 AM »
"False truths"? Good grief.

You don't have to pass a foreign bar exam but you do have to have a foreign law degree plus have a US LLM in American / US Law to take the California bar if you are not a licensed attorney somewhere.    

You will be dismayed to learn that basic reading comprehension is an important part of the bar exam. Read my post, compare it to the bolded portion above. You don't even understand what you're talking about. There appear to be two options:

1) LL.B + licensure in the U.K. = ticket to CA bar exam.
Getting licensed in the U.K. requires you to take the qualifying exams, thus you would take the UK exams and the CBEX. If you go this route you will have to pass two bar exams, hence my comment.

2) LL.B, no U.K. licensure + ABA/CBE LL.M = ticket to CBEX.
This option requires more time and money, but only one bar exam.

I know from your past comments you find it distastefull that this is a real option but get over it.

I don't find it distasteful in the least. I've spent lots of time in the U.K., some of it at Oxford, and I have a very high opinion of U.K. higher education. I have no doubt that Northumbria offers a fine education. 

I do, however, think that this plan is a waste of time if your goal is to pass the CBEX. Why spend four years studying law that isn't tested? Look at the abysmal pass rates for foreign educated lawyers. They are low for a reason.

I came on this site 2 yrs ago before I started my law studies and you still trying to discredit folks that are trying to find alternative ways especially the ones that are going or inquiring about the foreign route.

I am skeptical of "alternative" routes to bar admission because they seldom work! Don't take my word for it, look at the recorded pass rates. They are very low. Look, if you're going to post stuff on a public forum people are going to respond. Don't take it personally, but understand that people are going to be skeptical when you extol the virtues of a path to bar admission with an extremely low success rate. How many people have passed the CBEX via this route? Do you even know?

Some people here (myself included) have actually taken the CA bar exam, and might be in a better position than you to determine what is (or is not)adequate preparation.     

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 21, 2013, 11:42:12 PM »
So if you complete an online LL.B you have to either take and pass the exams to get licensed as a solicitor, or get an LL.M before you can take the CA bar. Two bar exams? Yikes.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 21, 2013, 04:12:00 PM »
And when the economy improves and there is a shortage of lawyers due to closing down law schools, then what? Re-open them?

That's the problem with reactionary thinking, the long term ramifications are seldom considered. Here's another facet of the problem: let's say you close down GGU, USF, and Santa Clara. You're left with the higher ranked Bay Area schools like Hastings, Berkeley, and Stanford. Who will do the small firm family law jobs? Public defender? Juvenile court? I'm not sure if you're a lawyer yet, but schools like GGU fill these types of niches.

By advocating shutting down schools with low employment stats, you seem to be arguing that people need to be protected from themselves. It's an unreasonably paternalistic argument. No one is forced to go to law school and the employment data is readily available to anyone who bothers to inquire. People choose to go to schools like GGU for lots of different reasons, and some will fail and some will succeed. As long as schools are being honest about the data, I say let people make up their own minds. 

Law School Applications / Re: Undergrad institution
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:56:54 PM »
Another question, would veteran status be a big help in getting admitted?

Veteran status will definitely help, but your grades and LSAT will still need to be within the acceptable range for any given school. Soft factors like veteran status compliment your numeric qualifications, but don't replace your numbers. If two applicants have similar numbers the one with veteran status might get the nod, but significantly higher numbers seem to almost always win out.

Again, really focus on getting the highest LSAT score possible. Lots of people have high GPAs and many of those people will apply to law school. Very few people, however, will have high LSAT scores. I believe only about 1000 people will score above 170. A high LSAT score is worth its weight in gold. 

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 21, 2013, 01:12:00 AM »
You can make all the excuses you want, but GGU's employment outcome is significantly lower than most law schools.

I think that's probably true, but the question is why?

I don't think it's due to some failure on the part of GGU. I think that GGU is fulfilling it's obligation to adequately teach the law, and that the low employment rate is due to the factors which are beyond GGU's control. These factors include those listed by Citylaw , the fact that GGU is located in a very competitive legal market, and the fact that the national and local economies stink.  What can a law school really do about that? What do you suggest?

Since law schools can't force firms to hire their grads, the only way to effectively increase a school's employment rate in a stagnant economy is to somehow peg the incoming class size to market fluctuations, graduating less people when the economy is slow and more when it's growing. That's not very practical, however. In fact, it would probably be a huge headache. Budgets, hiring decisions, and other institutional goals which are made years in advance would be subject to imprecise economic prognostications.

Maybe a better option (for all law schools) is to focus on practical skills training as opposed to theory, and to prepare students to work as solo practitioners and small firm attorneys. One of the schools here in L.A. has made great strides in this area. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the employment rates at many schools are low. I just think there is much the schools can realistically do about it until the economy improves.   

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:26:32 PM »
Depending on what country your degree is from, an applicant may not need the LL.M. I believe CA has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which allows LL.B holders to take the CA bar. I know an attorney from Ireland who got admitted without the LL.M.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 20, 2013, 01:26:07 PM »
You're assuming it's the responsibility of the law school to find jobs for it's graduates. Once a student leaves the school, isn't the responsibility of finding a job the student's? Law schools have very little (if any) control over what people do once they leave.

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